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Marion Composites division has been awarded a contract by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to produce composite airframe parts for the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft. The initial contract is for $22 million in support of approximately 50 aircraft with follow-on potential of $135 million over the next eight years for an additional 289 aircraft.
The contract is for carbon fiber reinforced airframe parts including, but not limited to, vertical stabilizer skins, chine assemblies, fairing assemblies and door assemblies. Marion Composites’ processing operations would include prepreg hand layup, honeycomb sandwich bonding, autoclave cure, trim/drill/assembly operations and finishing. Preparation at the Marion, Virginia facility begins immediately with contract deliveries of more than 1,200 units comprising 28 different part types scheduled to begin in December 2001 and continue into 2005.
Lockheed Martin and principal subcontractors Boeing and Pratt & Whitney have teamed to develop and manufacture the revolutionary F-22 aircraft. The F-22, currently in the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase, is the world’s first stealth air-to-air fighter and will replace the U.S. Air Force’s fleet of F-15 fighters. A decision by the U.S. government in favor of Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) is expected sometime this summer. The U.S. Air Force currently plans to purchase 339 F-22s with operational capability scheduled for 2005.
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